After the Turnpike Shuffle

Here I am, more or less safe and sound, back in the old homestead of Indiana.  Let me tell you, it was a wild ride yesterday.

As I may have indicated I started out from Harrisburg about midnight, so by about five in the morning, after only about, oh, no sleep in almost twenty-four hours, I was completely out of it.  I ended up stopping at the service plaza after the one where I posted yesterday’s blog entry, used the bathroom, and slept in the car for a little over an hour.  Outside.  In the cold.  Wrapped up in my jacket.  I’ve done worse, trust me.

Lack of sleep was probably one of the reasons I seemed to get through western Ohio pretty fast, because I wasn’t paying attention to anything but the road before me.  But I made it back to Valparaiso with almost no gas in the car, managed to get unpacked, and napped for almost another hour before taking my shot.

And got the picture in my HRT folder just so I can see how I keep changing.

And got the picture in my HRT folder just so I can see how I keep changing.

I was exhausted though, and was asleep by nine-thirty at night here, or ten-thirty back home, and only woke up once to use the bathroom before crawling out of bed at a little after seven in the morning, or eight back in The Burg.  That’s a good rest for me–

Oh, I should mention, I edited last night.

Really, would you expect anything less?

Really, would you expect anything less?

I did chapters Twenty-Two and Twenty-Three, and started falling asleep as I looked over Chapter Twenty-Four, the penultimate chapter.  It’s because of that last–the falling asleep part–that I decided to call it a night and slink off to bed.

(Just a bit of trivia now:  while Chapter Twenty-Four, the next to last chapter, is known as the penultimate chapter, Chapter Twenty-Three is known as the antepenultimate chapter, Chapter Twenty-Two is the preantepenultimate chapter, and Chapter Twenty-One is the propreantepenultimate chapter.  The Coda is the ultimate chapter, naturally.  Now go forth and amuse your friends.)

I’m happy with how the edit has gone, and I’ll likely do another fast pass through the story before getting to the final draft.  It’s clean, and being as short as it is–just under seventy thousand words–I can give it a read-through in about two weeks.  Bit I will feel far more comfortable with on more pass through the story before I decide it’s ready to upload to Smashwords and ready for publication.

Today I do laundry and a few other things, and I finish Kolor Ijo for sure.  It’s almost ready, and I think it’s a good addition to my tiny catalog of publications.  I’m thinking more about B For Bewitching, and I know I’ll work on the Annie and Kerry Euro Trip time line some, probably this afternoon, because I’m itching to do that.

Oh, and another picture:

Behold the horror of morning without makeup!

Behold the horror of morning without makeup!

Yeah, just to show people I’m alive, I snapped this about forty minutes ago, after a bushed my teeth and shaved.  (Yes, I still do that–bummer.)  No makeup, nothing used to bring out my face, and I’m still in my pajamas.  This is how I look while I’m typing this line . . .

Hope I didn’t scar you with that image.  Haha!

Harmony is Me

More than a few writers have not only accused of being a plotter, but of sometimes overplotting my work.  I have heard from a few people, who will remain nameless, that I have moments when I get too deep into the story and end up spending a lot of time doing something called “research”.  You know:  that thing you’re suppose to do to make sure you get things right?

I first started hearing this in October, 2011, when I was prepping myself for NaNoWriMo 2011.  I had a few people telling me, “Don’t do that!  This is NaNo:  you just write!”  However, that wasn’t how I worked, and I needed to get a few rules in place prior to getting word into the computer.  Hence, there were a few people who began saying that I was doing it “wrong”, that I wasn’t really following the “rules” of NaNo, and whatever I was going to write probably wouldn’t be that good, anyway.  (Just as a side note:  I heard many of the same things prior to NaNo 2012, with one gentleman even going so far as to say that anyone who did any plotting would end up writing “formulistic crap”.  Well, I never!)

Of course, the nay sayers are still working on their novels from 2011–maybe–and I’m in the last stages of getting mine self published, which means . . . well, it actually means nothing.  It just means I’ve stuck to my plan to not only write, but to publish one way or the other, and that’s what I’m doing.  Maybe what I’m putting out will be crap, but it’s my crap, and it has covers.  You can’t take any of that from me.

Where is this going?  Straight into my next story, trust me . . .

Last night I was, among other things, looking for a place to put my cabin for my next story, given the way-too original title of Cabin Fever.  The idea is for my trio of literary lovely to spend a week in a cabin writing, and then have strange things happen to them, after which–well, you can imagine.  Or not.

In a way I need to know everything before I start writing.  Even something as inconsequential as the location of a cabin might not seem like a big deal, but I have to know where it’s located.  There might no be more than an off-hand remake about where the cabin is, but it’s a touch that I use to ground my story–sort of like how when De Niro played Al Capone in The Untouchables, he had the place that made Capone’s silk boxer shorts make the same for him to wear while filming.  You never saw them, but it was a touch he wanted.

I knew I wanted to have the cabin in Indiana, and I wanted it to be close to water for some reason.  So I looked at sites concerning state parks, trying to figure out which ones had cabin rentals, and then found those places on Google Maps so I could really see the places.  It was a bit of a search, because while some places sounded great, they didn’t look that way.  I needed to have something that fit just right . . .

Then I found it.  One of the state parks that had cabins, and was bordered by a river, and had lots of room–room for a lone cabin, a strange cabin, where three ladies could find their lives changing in very different ways–

And as soon as I had the location, I had the new title:  Fantasies in Harmony.  As I told another writer, you’ll see how that works at different levels.

I spend too much time on my stories?

You have no idea.



Oh, and it’s my birthday.  Happy me, yay . . .

Bedroom Recollections

You want to get ahead; you want to keep pushing forward.  But this week–let me tell you, it seems like every time I turn around, there’s something in real life that’s keeping me from writing my next great novel.  Assuming that it’s going to be great . . .  Recollections

Still, you write.  I get on the computer and start putting words into the machine.  I left my couple in bed, making small talk, mostly about my main female character getting tired of where she lived and taking a job in Las Vegas.  Where do I go from there?

Well, I had a few hundred words to make my main male character feel a bit of envy.

See, my male character is a Las Vegas native.  Born there, schooled there, worked there.  His dream is to make it “big” as a writer and move the hell out, but neither has happened yet.  He’s starting to feel like a bit of a failure because he’s stuck in the City of Big Dreams and Drained Bank Accounts, and here he’s hooked up with a woman who one day said, “Screw it, I’m outta here,” packed her crap inside her car, and hit the road because someone offered her a job.  Good job, bad job:  it didn’t matter.  It was a job, and it wasn’t in New Mexico, so she said, “Yes”.

In a way I feel like my main male character.  I’ve lived in Red State Indiana my whole life, up in the northwest part near Chicago.  There was a time, years ago, when I wanted to move out, when I wanted to head west and keep going until I hit the ocean.  One time it was California, one time it was Seattle; these days I’d love to live in Portland, where I almost did have a job in 2006.

From time to time I do have a dream of getting the hell out of the state and heading towards the mountains, towards the desert, towards the forests, and not stopping until I see a lot of water standing in my way.  I feel as if I outgrew Indiana a long time ago, but one thing or another has kept me from moving on–

Maybe I’ve been waiting to hit it big.

Were it not for certain obligations, I think I would have blown this pop stand a long time ago.  Jean Shepard–he of A Christmas Story fame–grew up in Hammond, IN, so he’s mostly known as an Indiana Writer, and a number of his stories take place in northwest Lake Country.  A writing instructor once told me that they went to a reading Shepard gave on one of his infrequent visits to Indiana, and during the question and answer section at the end, someone asked him what his favorite part about returning to Indiana was.  The instructor told him his answer was, “Getting on the plane and leaving.”  Needless to say, he didn’t endear himself to anyone at the reading.

I’ve had moments where I’ve thought about getting “known” through my writing, then leaving the state, settling somewhere else, and having to field the requests to return to my old stomping grounds to talk about what it’s like to “be a writer.”  Oh, the things I could do, the things I could say, the trouble I could get into.

So I need to do a few things first for that to happen . . .